Hello again everybody. Well six days from today the Blues will be playing Colorado. Hockey is back. We have Blues lines, d-pairings, power play units and more right before our eyes. Let's get to it. . . .
Haven't talked to Steen since his retirement Zoom call about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I think it's very possible that he comes back to the team in some advisor/consultant role at some point. Maybe not right away. Steen has said he'd be interested in doing something like that with the Blues. And Armstrong and Stillman seem to like having former Blues around. It may be a little tougher to do right away due to financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Blues have a lot of employees still laid off or furloughed
At the moment, having Scandella-Faulk on the ice right after a power play makes the most sense. It was a little surprising that Faulk was not on at least the second power play. But who do you have him replace? Pauaryko? Dunn? And that's not saying he won't be on the PP at some point in the season. This is a team with good depth; competition is not a bad thing.
Mikkola looked very good in the scrimmage last night. He looks ready. Right now, I'd say he's in that No. 7, No. 8 range among the blueliners. As for the overall size of the defensemen, yeah you're a little smaller. In essence, Krug is replacing Pietrangelo. But I think Krug is a more physical player than Pietrangelo, so lack of size doesn't hurt as much as you would think in this case. You see more and more smaller defensemen having an impact in the game these days as mobility and puck-moving seem to be valued more. Armstrong seems to be very comfortable adding players who help the transition game. So there will be a little bit different look on the back end this year. As for making any trades, keep in mind there are cap ramifications for a cap-strapped team in signing a top-notch backup goalie. Not sure if the Blues could do this without dumping more than just Dunn's salary. Happy New Year to you Barry.
If the Blues waive a player, and no one claims him, the Blues are responsible for the salary. The only thing that could help him there is if a player is on a two-way contract. They would save money and cap space in that case with the lower AHL salary kicking in. Also, a more veteran player with a salary over $1.075 million will count against the cap only by the amount exceeding the $1.075 million. So you could save some money in that instance. One last thing. I believe you can carry as few as 20 skaters on your opening day roster (plus 2 goalies) in trying to be cap compliant.
It's the expected answer. But I'd have to say O'Reilly.
I'm gonna say Vince Dunn. And I'm not sure if Jaden Schwartz is fully appreciated.
This is still only my fourth year on the beat, so I don't have a very long memory. But I think it is over that span.
It's very possible that the Blues will have to "borrow" into Tarasenko's LTIR to fit Dunn and Hoffman under the cap. Under that scenario, they would have to figure out something once he returns. Maybe they have to move some payroll then. Or maybe someone else will be injured and on LTIR by that time.
Yes, players do have to go through waivers when they go from regular roster to taxi squad (unless it's a younger player who's still waivers exempt). Kyrou, for example, is still waivers exempt. I don't believe taxi squad players count against the cap. I guess I could see a way for the taxi squad to help with cap issues, but I think it would have to be a veteran player to have much impact.
As valuable as Gunnarsson has been with the Blues, I could see that as a possibility.
I haven't watched any of those clips, but I need to. I remember the cramped visitors room in Philly. I remember that Binnington seemed to be in a hurry to leave us and go talk to his dad. I guess, I also need to ask him if he's been introduced to new assistant coach Jim Montgomery. (#who'smontgomery)
In the pandemic age, we don't get to roam the locker room and talk to maybe a half-dozen players at a time. We're limited to who we get on the Zoom calls, and so far Faulk hasn't been made available on a Zoom call. I will try to remember when we do get him.
I think you need Bortuzzo this season. He's a right-handed shot, which are in short supply. He's one of the team's most physical D-men. And he's very good on the PK. And penalty kill help is needed on defense without Jay Bouwmeester for a full season and without Pietrangelo. Plus, Bortuzzo's cap number is a modest $1.375 million, so you wouldn't be getting much help there.
No, I get what you're saying and it's a valid point. But I think they're willing to trade some of that for more mobility on the back end.
Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean more than we already have? More than what is posted online?
Hah. I'm looking for those helmet decals any day now.
San Jose is starting in Phoenix. I think the others will be playing in their regular arenas.
Yeah, I thought the pace and tempo was pretty good. I thought someone like Dunn for example, made a consistent effort to get the puck out quickly.
Moves pretty well for a big guy. Doesn't seem to be overwhelmed or out of his element. (Remember, he's only 18.) He left the ice early in Wednesday morning's practice after taking a puck to the mouth. But he was back out there Wednesday night for the scrimmage _ wearing a cage.